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Introducing The Newest Research Ship In Town: The Sally Ride

Photo credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Sally Ride research vessel heads to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Former Astronaut Sally Ride speaks to members of the media as NASA personnel set up astronomy equipment on the South Lawn of the White House, Oct. 7, 2009.

Introducing The Newest Research Ship In Town: The Sally Ride


Bruce Appelgate, associate director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Scripps Institution of Oceanography has a new ship for conducting research at sea.

It's named after America's first woman in space and former UC San Diego physics professor, Sally Ride. She died in 2012.

"Her legacy is that of accomplishment and great scientific achievement — we think that's a great thing for a ship," said Bruce Appelgate, associate director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Appelgate is in charge of ship operations and marine technical support for Scripps.

RELATED: Scientists Mark 100 Years Of Recording Ocean Temp At Scripps Pier

The ship, which is the only one named after a woman in the U.S. academic research fleet, arrived at its home port in Point Loma Friday. It is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Scripps.

Appelgate said the the Sally Ride research vessel can be used to conduct any kind of research that scientists can think up and do at sea.

"We do everything from look to the center of the Earth to understand deep Earth geophysics to looking up at the heavens and understanding what's going on in our atmosphere and climate, and everything in between," he said.

Appelgate said, "It's almost like a very fancy and capable flat bed truck that we take out to sea that is also a floating UC laboratory."

Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a department at UC San Diego.

Appelgate said the Sally Ride research vessel aims to have as little impact as possible on its environment.

"It needs to be environmentally friendly and economical so we can get the most research value for dollars spent," Appelgate said.

The ship's first research mission in November will be part of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation, a 65-year study to understand the California current ecosystem. The study is looking at how the environment in the current impacts the living resources off the coast.

Appelgate will join Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about Scripps' newest research ship.

Photo credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Onlookers wait for the Sally Ride research vessel to pass by the Scripps Pier on its way to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.


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